The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

There was an 'atmosphere of fear' at The Lord of the Rings: Gollum developer

Daedalic Entertainment has been accused of enforcing a toxic work environment.

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We're a few months removed from the absolute disaster that was The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, but now new details are emerging about just how bad things were at Daedalic Entertainment.

A new report from German outlet Game Two shows where it all went wrong, including a toxic work culture that pushed employees to work uncompensated overtime and attempts to pay staff below minimum wage. Moreover, there were also major problems with budgeting the game. Reportedly Daedalic was working with around €15 million, which is not a lot to make a AAA experience.

CEO Carsten Fichtelmann and COO Stephan Harms have been singled out as individuals responsible for keeping up this "atmosphere of fear." Staff were also expected to crunch, which has been a pattern since the studio first founded.

Also, there's the apology that was posted after launch, which was allegedly written by ChatGPT, and was posted without Daedelic's approval. Putting all of this together, then, it sounds like a right mess went down, which unfortunately shows in the game that Daedelic put out.

The Lord of the Rings: Gollum

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Daedalic's stealth-platformer is finally here, but is it as delicious as Samwise's potato stew or a flop like Éowyn's unrequited love for Aragorn? We have tons of thoughts.

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